Herbs & Plants

Aconitum Violaceum

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Botanical Name : Aconitum violaceum
Family : Ranunculaceae
Genus  : Aconitum
Tibetan  Common Name:: bdud rtsi lo ma, bong nga nag po (Amrita leaves, black aconite)

Habitat : E. Asia – Himalayas.   Shrubberies and open slopes, 3600 – 4800 metres from Pakistan to C. Nepal

It is hardy to zone 6. It is in flower from August to October. The flowers are pollinated by Bees.

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The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil.

Cultivation :
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by the native range of the plant it should succeed outdoors in many parts of the country. It is a polymorphic species. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Thrives in most soils and in the light shade of trees. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers a moist soil in sun or semi-shade. Prefers a calcareous soil. Grows well in open woodlands. Members of this genus seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits and deer. A greedy plant, inhibiting the growth of nearby species, especially legumes.

Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. The seed can be stratified and sown in spring but will then be slow to germinate. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer. Division – best done in spring but it can also be done in autumn. Another report says that division is best carried out in the autumn or late winter because the plants come into growth very early in the year.

Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Roo

Root – cooked. It is eaten as a pleasant tonic. These reports should be treated with great distrust due to the poisonous nature of the genus.

Medicinal Actions &  Uses:

Antidote; Antiinflammatory; Febrifuge.

The entire plant is used in Tibetan medicine, it is said to have a bitter taste and a cooling potency. Antidote, anti-inflammatory and febrifuge, it is used in the treatment of snake and scorpion bites, contagious infections and inflammation of the intestines.

BONG NAG: Vermicide (tapeworms); infectious fevers; relieving pains of arthritis and rheuma. Ashes used to increase body heat. DUDSI LOMA: white, long root, slightly milky: Rheuma, artritis -pains, skin disease, gall disease ass. with nagas. Tonsilitis.

Used part:
in sommer whole plant is used. In autumn, when the flow of the sap is reversed, especially the roots are used.
Various species of Aconitum are being used in Tibetan Medicine. The one here is very poisonous and only very small doses are being employed. Pills with Aconite are usually much smaller than regular Tibetan pills. Usually they are not being crushed with the teeth but on swallows them as such. Compare it with the use in Homoeopathy!

Another species, Aconitum heterophyllum, apparently is only very little poisonous. Some people claim that its roots are even being eaten in times of scarcity. It’s used in indigestion medicines a lot.

Aconitum heterophyllum is specially regarded  as a very endangered species since it is also popular in Ayurveda and is being collected in big quantities. Mainly the roots of Aconium spp. are being used. Thus collectors have to dig up the whole plants and in many cases destroyed entire populations in certain areas.

Known Hazards : The whole plant is highly toxic – simple skin contact has caused numbness in some people. Another report suggests that the root of this species might not be toxic.

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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